Victoria Firms Soak Up The Sun

The Times-Colonist recently reported on the new Westhills property development south of Langford Lake that will feature the use of geothermal energy and solar-powered traffic lights.


Not only is Vancouver Island starting to use more solar power and other alternative energy sources, but some local companies are helping deliver the technology that literally soaks up the sun.

Sum-SHA-Thut named Solar Project of the Year

A solar energy installation called Sum-SHA-Thut (the Sencoten term for ‘sunshine’) developed by Victoria, BC’s Home Energy Solutions, was named ‘Solar Project of the Year’ at the 2009 Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) conference.



The project was built for Vancouver Island’s T’Sou-ke Nation and is BC’s largest solar power installment to date. Sum-SHA-Thut was also the recipient of several previous awards.

“The success of this project and the leadership demonstrated by the T’Sou-ke Nation and Chief Gordon Planes show great promise for solar electric generation in Canada,” says Dave Egles, founder and president of Home Energy Solutions.

After the July 2009 installation of Sum-SHA-Thut energy consumption was reduced by 30 percent, which makes T’Sou-ke Nation the most solar-intensive nation per capita on the planet according to

Burnaby schools go solar with Carmanah

Victoria-based Carmanah Technologies Corporation has outfitted the Burnaby School District (no. 41) with rooftop solar power systems on two newly-constructed school buildings.

The benefits of the Carmanah grid-tied photovoltaic systems are expected to go beyond building certification and a reduced monthly electrical bill.

“The arrays will not only act as a utility source, but also as an instructional tool for our students,” says Burnaby School District facility services director, Phil Shepherd.

“Along with other components such as a demonstration green roof, storm water management, high-efficiency heating plant, and digital environmental controls, they will be viewed and shared by our students and the communities.”


The new solar arrays will be installed during the spring and summer of 2010, and are expected to be fully operational when schools reopen next September.

Garth Von Buchholz is the President and digital media producer at DigitalPractices Media Inc. in Victoria. Email: